The Soft Life Is Over For Thai Banks

As Chartsiri Sophonpanich enters a hallway in the headquarters of Bangkok Bank Ltd., dozens of employees melt away and clear a path, bowing with hands folded upwards in the traditional "wai" greeting. At 36, Chartsiri is the president and heir apparent to Thailand's biggest and most powerful banking fortune, a Sophonpanich fiefdom for three generations.

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